Sunday, 17 September 2006

Sanskit to Bali

“Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty” – Brian Greene

Bypassing Lovina, we decided to explore the original Port of Bali at Celukanbawang (try saying that in a hurry), accompanied by a huge pod of dolphins. There were a lot of shallow areas in the Port which probably indicates why they no longer use it. Suddenly aground again but backed off and dropped the pick in a safe and deep anchorage. The locals came out in long tails offering to ‘tow’ us off, but at 26 tonnes that was never going to happen.  'Harrier' decided to join us and with their shallow draft managed to tie off to the shore. The Mosque here was beautiful but rather noisy before dawn and the Bugis coming in all displayed brilliant seamanship.

Harrier at Celukanbawang
The following day we relocated to Lovina, anchoring in 7m. This was 8 days of total relaxation and boat work (alias maintenance). Two restaurants on the beach became yachtie hangouts, which meant lots of sundowners and tall tales after the mandatory tours. Robyn from 'Annwn' and I enjoyed a few day spas for the heady sum of $12 per day. 
Lovina arrival

Three faiths united
Tientos at Lovina
Keith enjoying attention

Sunset at Lovina

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Palau Lawang to Sanskit

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails” – William Arthur Ward 

Leaving P Lawang at 0515 with the current against us as usual, we anchored at Gili Air at 1400. 
Location, Location, Location
This was a wonderful 4 day stay and we met so many wonderful people; both yachties and locals.  Volleyball became the match of every afternoon – the locals versus the yachties, with the locals winning every time. 
Great shot by Keith could not save the day
There are no cars on Gili Air so it was a pleasant meander around the island with a horse and cart.  
Easy touring

Upon reflection, we question why, with this easy ride, did we decide to 'walk'around the island in the search for the best Margarita?
Another bar, another Margarita
Best Barman and Best Margarita

It was still blowing and this can be another uncomfortable anchorage with bad holding so re-anchoring became the order of the day. Margarita-ed out, we motored across to Lombok Island to renew our visas.

The Kombol anchorage was calm and afforded the opportunity to catch up with boat jobs whilst waiting for our visas being processed at Mataram.  We took on another 300 litres of fuel and water.
A short dinghy ride to the wharf
Another water run
Keith gets on well with the locals

After leaving Kombol we wanted to look at Amed but the anchorage was untenable so we carried on along the coast of Bali looking (unsuccessfully) for another anchorage.  In the pitch black playing dodgems with fishing boats not coming up on radar, it was time to check out the Sailing Directions (Pilots) for a ‘small ships’ anchorage. Yes!  A straight left hand turn into shore heading for the coordinates; we finally dropped the pick at nearly midnight. Although in 23m, and a little rolly, we enjoyed a good night’s sleep. The funny thing? We woke to another yacht only 100m away.
Heading out at night again
May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Banta Island to Palau Lawang

 “I feel we are all islands – in a common sea" -  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We departed Banta on Sunday 3rd September as the anchorage was starting to become uncomfortable with strong winds and swell (and we needed a change). 
Wera was the intended anchorage to see the home of the master shipbuilders. An amazing sight and Keith would have liked to go ashore but the kids started the minute the pick was down…demands for money, swearing and generally being abusive. Time to go…
Building the Phinisis
As luck would have it, this turned out to be one of our best sails goose winged along the coast to Teluk Bima, along with "Harrier".  We then motored to the Port of Bima anchoring in a little bay opposite the wharf. Although it was Father’s Day, all that could be concocted for this special dinner was Bruschetta’s.

The next day, we took Patsy ashore whilst Dennis watched both yachts. We had an exciting motorbike trip into the city, where a policeman stopped traffic to enable us to cross to the supermarket.  There were obviously not a lot of westerners visiting here as we were all followed around the supermarket watching to see what went into the trolley. It actually wasn’t much as the supermarket was more of a dry goods store, but we did manage to stock up on chocolate and Tim Tams!  Our friendly policeman arranged a horse and cart back to the wharf, where we found the veg and eggs. Asparagus and Crab Quiches made up for the lack of attention on Father’s Day and we enjoyed a sundowner with the crew of "Harrier" aboard Tientos.  
The next anchorages were overnighters only due to the unsettled conditions: Kununga and Seringitt, where sailfish were everywhere. No lack of fish in this area, which might explain the numerous nets and boats. 
Palau Lawang was an amazing anchorage. You have to arrive early enough to see your way in among the reefs, but a very calm and quiet anchorage. After defrosting the freezer, we bottled another batch of wine and of course had to taste our product. 
Tide going
Tide gone

  May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!